From the Editors

by The Editors
published in MER164

The Palestinian uprising, along with its other achievements, has enabled Palestinian voices finally to reach the United States. Among the most eloquent of these voices are the many different expressions of Palestinian culture. In theater, film, music, art and literature, Palestinian cultural productions have achieved new and revealing syntheses of politics and aesthetics, and many artists in the United States have responded by inscribing the question of Palestine on their own agendas.

Human Rights Briefing

by Nabeel Abraham
published in MER166

What has been the performance of human rights organizations during the first two years of the intifada? A fresh look at eight organizations surveyed prior to the uprising (MER 150) shows that overall coverage has increased, as one might expect based on the intensity and duration of the uprising, but coverage remains uneven. Some organizations that had been reporting on the Occupied Territories prior to November 1987 improved their coverage; others did not. Among those organizations that had in the past ignored Palestinian rights abuses, some saw the intifada as an opportunity to take up the issue. A notable few, however, have remained silent.

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Blocking Palestinian Statehood

by Chris Toensing | published September 26, 2011

When President Barack Obama addressed the UN General Assembly in September 2010, he sounded hopeful that by the following year there would be “an agreement that will lead to a new member of the United Nations -- an independent, sovereign state of Palestine, living in peace with Israel.” Sure enough, in September 2011, the Palestinians asked the UN Security Council to recognize a state of Palestine -- but Obama ordered the US delegate to veto the request. What gives?

As If There Is No Occupation

The Limits of Palestinian Authority Strategy

by Nu'man Kanafani | published September 22, 2011

For many months, the streets of downtown Ramallah, seat of the Palestinian Authority (PA), have literally been heaps of earth. Workers have labored intensively to replace water and sewage pipes, repave roads, lay beautiful carved stones at roadsides and install thick chains along the edges of sidewalks in order to better separate pedestrian and automotive traffic. Shopkeepers have been told to reduce the size of their storefront signs; specially designed electricity poles jut skyward. Not every town resident is impressed. As they navigate the mounds of dirt, cynics joke: “The PA is covering the road to self-determination in asphalt.” “We have the sewers; all that’s left is the sovereignty.” “The streets of Ramallah are paved with white stones -- who needs Jerusalem?”

The Question of Palestine in Miniature

by The Editors | published September 16, 2011

The countdown to September 23 has begun. On that day, if he does not renege on his September 16 speech, Mahmoud ‘Abbas will present a formal request for full UN membership for a state of Palestine. The UN Security Council, which must approve such requests, will not do so, because the United States will act upon its repeated vows to exercise its veto. And then?

Editor's Bookshelf

by Joel Beinin
published in MER170

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Letter from the Curfew Zone

by Penny Johnson
published in MER170

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Photos and Art from Palestine

by Lisa Frank
published in MER175

John Running, Pictures for Solomon (Northland, 1990).

Phyllis Bennis and Neal Cassidy, From Stones to Statehood (Olive Branch, 1990).

Kamal Boullata, Faithful Witnesses: Palestinian Children Recreate Their World (Windrush, 1990).

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A Profile of Tulkarm Camp

by Sharry Lapp
published in MER175

Eighteen-year old Anwar is new to bastat, street peddling. Two days ago his mother bought several crates of corn on the cob, which she boiled for him to sell in Tulkarm refugee camp streets. Recently released from a six-month term at Ansar III detention camp in the Negev desert, Anwar returned home the first day having sold nothing.

“There were problems in the streets,” explains his mother, Umm Jamil. “Anyway, no one goes out as they used to. Something happens, the army comes, and everyone runs. Who will buy?” Tulkarm camp, near the northern West Bank town by that name, is home to nearly 12,000 Palestinians.

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Why We Negotiate

An Interview with Sami al-Kilani

by Joost Hiltermann
published in MER175

Sami al-Kilani is a member of the Palestinian delegation to the peace talks. A poet and short-story writer, he has spent several years in Israeli prisons and under town arrest in his home in Ya‘bad in the occupied West Bank. His brother Ahmad was shot dead by Israeli troops in October 1988. Joost Hiltermann interviewed him in Washington, DC, in December 1991.

I understand that members of the delegation held town meetings in the West Bank and Gaza after the Madrid conference.

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